Waikiki Embassy Suites completes $8M refit

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The Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach remained open during the refit, which included all of the hotel's 369 units.
The Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach remained open during the refit, which included all of the hotel's 369 units.

The Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk recently wrapped up an $8 million renovation including upgrades to all 369 units.

The Outrigger Hospitality Group-managed property near Fort DeRussy Beach Park has also revamped its art program, with new in-room and public area displays. Although slated to begin in 2019, management fortuitously decided to postpone the work until this year, and construction kicked off in March, general manager Simeon Miranda said. The work started as the Covid-19 pandemic hit Hawaii, slowing tourism to a crawl.

"We had great occupancy in 2019 and decided to postpone, and that decision obviously worked out well," Miranda said. "We were able to close one tower at a time, and we got the construction done faster."

The last time the property was renovated was seven years ago, and this time the focus was on adding Hawaiian elements that would augment the connection to the Islands and distinguish the property from other locations.

"The new suite design was inspired by our exquisite ocean destination, with warm hues of blue and green as well as Hawaiian patterns incorporated throughout the property," Miranda said.

The suites all received new furnishings, and each one is now adorned with a kapa (bark cloth) art installation from Oahu resident Dalani Tanahy. The art is inspired by the natural spring waters running beneath the property, a place referred to as "Kawehewehe" when Hawaiian royalty used Waikiki as a vacation and recreation spot. Also, the hotel exterior is now adorned with two kapa triangle patterns symbolizing an outrigger sail as well as the relationship between guest, host and place.

The property's two towers hold 301 one-bedroom suites and 68 two-bedroom suites, with standard, city, partial ocean, ocean and premium ocean categories. One-bedroom accommodations are offered in king or two queen configurations with a living room and queen-size sleeper sofa, and two-bedroom suites feature one king bed, two queen-size beds and a separate living room. All of the suites come equipped with a microwave, coffeemaker, tea kettle and minirefrigerator, and rates include a complimentary daily, made-to-order breakfast buffet and evening cocktail reception.

"This property gets a lot of longer stays thanks to the larger suites," Miranda said. "We get a lot of guests that want to stay and make Waikiki home for a little bit  It's the only all-suite property in Waikiki, and it's anchored by some great restaurants with Roy's, the Yardhouse and Ruth's Chris in the Waikiki Beach Walk."

The resort's fourth floor Grand Lanai, which includes a pool and lounge area, has also been updated with new cabanas and furniture, while the poolside Pakini Bar has a fresh menu with new food and cocktail options, including the Lava Flowrum, pineapple juice, coconut colada and ice cream.

The resort is part of the Hilton CleanStay program, a new set of health and safety protocols including enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures. The resort is also on the Hilton digital key system, meaning guests can check in and get a key downloaded to their smartphone and skip the front desk upon arrival.

While the Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk has stayed open during the Covid-19 pandemic, most of its guests have been frontline workers, military transferring to the island and other essential personnel, Miranda said. Through at least Sept. 30, the state requires all arriving passengers to self-quarantine for 14 days in their home or accommodations.

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